More on the frightening state of American public education

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by Jetstorm, May 3, 2004.

  1. Jetstorm

    Jetstorm Founding Member

    Sep 26, 2002
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    Parents in California are angry about a school district's proposal to eliminate the D grade, thereby forcing kids who are "just getting by" to ante up a little more. God forbid we make kids work hard in school.

    Meanwhile, parents and education pros in Delaware are angry about the state's new idea of replacing exit exams with a tiered diploma system. Everybody's gonna get a high school diploma, so everybody's happy, right? WRONG! They say it'll hurt the self-esteem of the kids who only get the basic diploma and (of course) it's racist because a disproportionate number of the kids who would get basic diplomas are black and Hispanic.

    Parents of FSA, please for the love of God, get your children into a private school or home school them. I'm convinced that Louisiana is no worse than the rest of the nation and that there is no such thing as a good public school anymore. How much lower will we sink before this nonsense is ended?
  2. Purple Jungle

    Purple Jungle Founding Member

    Aug 16, 2002
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    First off, I'd like to say that I believe education is an individual thing that requires effort and self-motivation regardless of your surroundings or learning environment.

    I don't think home schooling or private school is the complete answer to all the problems with education. I went to a private school until 6th grade, where EVERY kid was making B's at the worst (maybe an occasional C).

    The private school closed down and half the kids in my class couldn't carry a B average just a year later in public school. I think it was more a case of the private school inflating grades than the public school not doing its job.

    Just because a school is private, doesn't mean it's a quality school. Sure there are tons of great private schools, but there are also some that have teachers who are uncertified or inflate grades to please a relatively small base of parents. I have a friend who's teaching a 5th grade class at a private school just north of Baton Rouge. He has ZERO educational training or certification.

    I can only really speak for the people I met while at LSU, but I really didn't sense a difference in intelligence from kids who went to private school vs. kids who went to public school. I actually think the private school kids had a harder time adjusting to the college environment. The reason? I'm not sure. I stopped going to private school a long time ago.

    I'm not a big proponent of home schooling either because besides education, schools also provide a major environment for socialization of children/teenagers. You can home school your kid and still put them in sports/dance/music activities, but I don't think it's quite the same as everyday interaction with people of similar ages.

    I will say that I find it ridiculous when kids or parents argue against standardized testing and tiered diplomas.

    When my parents were in high school, EVERYONE needed to pass their final english class to graduate.

    Fast forward to my generation and a high school senior can opt to take Business English, which was basically learning how to type a formal letter on a word processor, instead of real English. Those kids that took the easy road and passed Business English got the same diploma I did, even though I was taking English 4 in a college prep curriculum.

    A high school diploma used to at least mean SOMETHING, now it's becoming just a bare minimum requirement for the lowliest jobs in the country.

    And stardardized testing is an absolute must if diplomas from different state high schools are supposed to be worth equal educational value. Anyone who's been to high school knows teachers will dish out extra assignments are give bullsh*t bonus points for literally anything. There's no such thing as bonus points and teacher favoritism with a state-wide standardized exit exam.

    There were kids in my high school who were complete dumbasses that carried high C averages in high school, but took a few extra tries to pass the LEAP. And it's not like the LEAP test is an entrance exam for MENSA. I probably could've passed it after completing Algebra I in 8th grade.
  3. martin

    martin Banned Forever

    Oct 20, 2003
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  4. tntiger6

    tntiger6 Freshman

    Jan 29, 2004
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    Public Education=Nonsense???

    Could you be suggesting that public education is nonsense? Or is it the wacky, isolated incidents that are nonsense?
    The latter I can agree with, but not the first. One of the ideals that seperates America from the rest of the world is providing an education for every citizen. This ideal has somehow fallen out of favor with conservatives since the Reagan years. Yes, the idea of educating everyone is emormous, even overwhelming at times. Yes, wacky ideas interject themselves in the process occasionally. But, every day, children and young adsults are exposed to ideas that can provide them with the opportunity to become....well, it's America, so whatever they work toward becoming.
    My objection to this is that the motivation behind "getting our children in private schools or homeschooled" is so often financial in nature. People don't want to be taxed to educate others children. And I cannot agree. How can we flaunt the other great ideals of this country and ignore/shy away from this one? If everyone with the resources to bail out of public education does so, you are left with a student body of low-income children, undeserving of public support and soon to learn the concept of low or second class. This WILL lead to the downfall of this great nation-the slide is already starting with the perilous 'No Child Left Behind" policy of this adminisration.
    If, as moderator, you hoped to stimulate thought, I commend you. There is no greater issue we face today than the state of public education,IMO.
  5. M.O.M

    M.O.M Founding Member

    Jan 19, 2004
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    Down with the Meritocracy!
  6. CParso

    CParso Founding Member

    Jan 20, 2004
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    I can't completely agree that you can learn alot anywhere if you really want to. I suppose you are right, but there are alot of cases of people much more intelligent than their knowledge of anything would indicate - due to the school they went to. I went to a small school called Madisonville Jr High, where 2/3rds of the kids I graduated jr high with never made it through High School. I have 2 friends classified as genuises, who barely passed High School because of Madisonville Jr. High. [Luckily, one of them did exceptional on the ACT and got into LSU, where he has turned around & is working on a 4.0 this semester] While it ultimately comes down to character, Madisonville instilled many things in us that have been hard to shake. The smart kids were picked on, and beat up in some cases - even though the "dumb kids" were cheating off of them in all their classes. Imagine being taught from the age of 10 that if you try hard and make good grades - you get beaten up. By the time your 14 and going into high school, you don't have a whole lot of motivation to try hard.

    After Madisonville Jr. High, most of us went to Mandeville High School - one of the top 5 public high schools in the state. It's a very different attitude there, most people take honors classes and on-level is looked at as an easy way out.

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